It is possible to learn how to win the silent treatment. You just have to stay strong against the pressures of guilt and manipulation.

In my younger years, the silent treatment caused me massive amounts of pain and suffering. I guess it was because I just hated when someone I loved wouldn’t talk to me. To understand how to win the silent treatment, however, I had to mature. I had to reach a place where this type of manipulation could not affect me any longer.

How can we win the silent treatment?

It’s not that I advocate fighting dirty in disagreements, it’s just that sometimes you have to learn advanced techniques. You have to stop the silent treatment from being used against you in order to retain your self-esteem and dignity. There are a few ways you can learn how to win the silent treatment.

1. Shrugging it off

One way to understand how to win the silent treatment is to brush it off or ignore it. If you aren’t necessarily in a close relationship with the person who is giving you the silent treatment, you may be able to just move on and act like nothing happened. Sometimes that is all that’s needed for them to start talking again, especially when they see you aren’t affected by their attempts to manipulate.

2. Confront them

People who use the silent treatment to win arguments and gain control need to understand the magnitude of their immature behavior. Confrontation lets them know that you see what they are doing and you understand the tactics they use. After telling them the truth, you can laugh about it. This shows them that you will not waste your time with such nonsense.

3. Therapy

If you are experiencing the silent treatment from someone you love, then therapy may be the only answer. This only works if your partner is willing to go to therapy in order to move forward. Unfortunately, so many people like using the silent treatment and don’t want a therapist taking that weapon away. I guess it all just depends on how important the relationship is to the manipulator.

Who uses the silent treatment the most?

If you’ve ever wondered who uses this tactic, then listen up. There are a few types of people who rely on this response in order to function. It’s virtually impossible for them to respond in a normal manner when faced with opposition. Instead of communicating, they rather refuse to talk in an attempt to get their way. Let’s take a look at a few of these people.

1. The passive aggressive

This type of person seems quiet and non-confrontational. The truth is, they really don’t stand up to confrontation well, and they know this. That’s why they use their passive-aggressive demeanor to just clam up.

When something isn’t going their way, they know that their silent treatment may be the only real key to turning the tables and getting exactly what they want, after all. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This all depends on the strength and maturity of their intended target.

2. The narcissist

The narcissist is a troubled and sad individual. Among their weapons of choice, like their other manipulation techniques, they also utilize the silent treatment. The narcissist, since they are void of all original inner substance, will use the silent treatment to further establish who they are.

Mind you, who they are is just a copy of what you’ve brought to the relationship. The narcissist steals their substance from whoever they can manipulate, and the silent treatment is a covert form of this as well.

3. The selfish

People who haven’t been taught to care effectively for others in a household will use the silent treatment on a regular basis. Selfish people care for themselves over others and when something doesn’t go their way, they ignore others to make a statement.

Usually, selfish people are kind until they start to sacrifice things for others. If they start to make a shift from selfishness to becoming a better overall person, it will be difficult and messy. During this time, it’s good to learn how to win the silent treatment with them in order to help them grow.

4. The immature

Silent treatment behavior is a sign of an extremely immature person. Usually, this type of action is displayed in someone who has had little to no parental teaching. They lack emotional intelligence and usually exhibit this silence as a form of an adult tantrum.

There are many people, who although they are physically an adult, act much like they are a child or preteen. They just don’t have the intellect to communicate as an adult or face confrontation. Thus, they resort to the childish act of ignoring others.

5. The victim

Those who are trapped in victim mentality will never take responsibility for their actions as an adult. They are stuck in the moment when something bad happened to them.

So, when they are confronted with something they are doing wrong, they will grow silent and attempt to force their way. They struggle for control by always using phrases like, “It’s okay, everybody hates me anyway.” Or “I am just a failure.” After saying these things, they use the silent treatment to reinforce their point.

Let’s learn how to win the silent treatment by being good people

I just don’t understand why we can’t be good, fair, and mature people. I know everyone has different upbringings and past experiences, but when someone tells you that you’re doing something wrong, let’s try to take a look at ourselves instead of living in denial. If we can only communicate and use introspection, we can be the best human beings we can be.

Although the silent treatment has won arguments before, it has done so much damage to the lives of other people. Let’s just try harder to be good people and spread love instead of hate.



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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Sandrine

    The problem with the silent treatment is that it hurts-emotionally. Humans are wired to socialize, and someone cutting us off is a sign that they don’t care enough about us to treat us like human beings, lowering self-esteem.

    1. Anon

      It seems I assumed it is common knowledge to try to resolve conflicts and communicate clearly when you feel angry about something. I was informed by a highly manipulative toxic family member those are ideals that no one does. Furthermore if I say what I feel angry about I am “hopelessly mentally ill”. My family of origin is dysfunctional, controlling and manipulative. When any of them are angry they refuse any communication and give the silent treatment as lies no as one year. They are also passive aggressive. My ex husband instructed our children to be passive aggressive.
      I have an adult daughter currently giving me the silent treatment over my attempts to clarify a misunderstanding by her. I made a difficult decision to not attend Xmas eve and day family gatherings. I won’t tolerate being mischaracterized as the angry person nor comply to be around her engaging in pretense. I have endured too much of this and compromised my self, feelings and soul. It is painful to be punished over simple conflicts. I do not want this suffering or relationships of walking on eggshells. She wins, controlled driving me out of her family, spoiling our family holiday anticipated. Alas, my sister did it for a year. They all believe this is how healthy people act.

  2. Pang Angh

    I am truly grateful and excited about this article. I’m also a big fan of thought-provoking.
    I have been observing one of my friend’s behaviors and didn’t know why and how to describe it but now I understood that it is a silent treatment. It’s time to win it.

    Thanking you

  3. Linda van Veenhuyzen

    I do have a friend who does this often to me
    I dont understand this….

  4. Oswald

    Well done..concise expressions..infomative..real.

  5. Aunt Tee

    You know what? I’m tired of being the better person. I have a big toxic family who lives across the country I have stepped up and time of tragedy to help them out financially and most of them are giving me the silent treatment and guess what they can go to hell.

    Two can play that game they don’t reach out I don’t reach out they go silent I go silent I am mirroring their behavior. I am at peace that we may never speak again.

    1. Anon

      Aunt Tea, I hope you stick with your decision. I believe we have a right to decide when we have had enough hurt and decide to not take it any more. At the moment I am having vengeful thoughts how to hurt my daughter back. I will not be vengeful though for it will not change her misconception that the silent treatment is healthy nor will she cease. I will remove myself from contact and accept another misunderstanding or her need to be right shall remain unresolved. She will not change this behavior.
      Sadly she needs surgery again for cancer and has three young children. I won’t be there for her or them this time. I had enough of no consequences for those who give the silent treatment. I can’t take it any more, I am broken from it.

  6. Millenialist20

    I have been enduring this from a close family member who is engaging in it for some reason not known to me. Neither is the person willing to open up as to why nor am I able to reach the person over text/mail. We live in different countries. I exceeded my limit by constantly apologizing and doing everything in my capacity to get this person to talk to me. This article has given me the self-belief that I haven’t done anything wrong and I have got to let the person go. Thank you!!

  7. Janeen Gibson

    GREAT READ! Sad that we live in a passive aggressive world with no acknowledgement of wrong doing. I often find myself around ppl like this because I use to be in denial in my younger days. If not , I could no longer do my job effectively as a police officer if I could not use emotional intelligence tactics for positive reinforcements, and critical resources to serve others. Now I try to give advice and ppl just are not ready to accept their flaws and think I am being critical. No I have a great sense of morality when it comes to knowing what and what not do to humans. People do not want change and just okay with being ignorant to how life works even if it’s beneficial to them longterm. Their excuse , they wasn’t taught. Doesn’t make it right and there is always help to change yourself. But if they Love it , their lack of ignorance is their problem. I’m Retired … I can’t with the foolishness no more.

  8. ken

    If we judge by the photo dare i say it but maybe the woman deserves it that’s how i deal with toxic people.

    1. Jaye

      Here from the future to say me too, Ken. When someone constantly drains and exhausts me, I take a break. No, it’s not passive aggressive, and no, not everyone who does this is a narcissist. Give me a break. I explain why I need a break from the person. What, are you going to do… get angry that I’m *not* ending the friendship? Two friends have merited this. I only speak to one of them now.

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